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Syria civil war tops Russia-Arab Gulf meeting agenda

Meeting in Moscow comes as rebel coalition makes slow progress in campaign to evict ISIL from Raqqa in northern Syria.

GCC ministers

Arab Gulf leaders have held talks with Russia's foreign minister in Moscow as part of renewed efforts to stop the war in Syria.

Thursday's meeting between Sergey Lavrov and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers comes as rebels in northern Syria continue to make slow progress in their campaign to evict the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) armed group from its stronghold in the city of Raqqa.

Fighting continues

The diplomatic developments come against the backdrop of ongoing fighting in northern Syria, with a Kurdish-led coalition of armed groups making advances in their fight against ISIL.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters headed by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), have taken control of four villages near the town of Ain Issa, about 60km from Raqqa.


READ MORE: Kurdish-led forces advance in Raqqa offensive


ISIL has imposed strict rule in Raqqa - home to more than 220,000 people before the Syrian conflict - and committed atrocities against the civilian population since its takeover of the city more than two years ago.


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